Historical foes West Brom and Burnley in battle of Hawthorns
As West Bromwich Albion and visitors Burnley prepare for their encounter at The Hawthorns, a small slice of history is being forged.
These two teams have never faced each other in the Premier League before, although they first clashed in the old Division One way back in September 1888.
The Baggies emerged triumphant on that occasion, earning themselves what looks to have been a thrilling 4-3 win, and are 150/1 to repeat that scoreline in this modern day meeting. West Brom, evens to claim all three points, also hold a more recent historical head-to-head advantage, with the Clarets having failed to defeat them at home since 1969.
Beleagured Albion boss Alan Irvine has felt the pressure ease a little recently, following his side’s surprise victory over Tottenham, and their subsequent Capital One Cup win over Hull City.
Speaking before the game, Irvine stated: “It’s really important that we follow up two good results and good performances with another one. We can’t think that it is going to just happen now.”
Albion now appear re-energised and will be aiming to secure back-to-back Premier League victories and what would be their first league win on home turf this term.
In team news, the Baggies face a possible striker shortage, with Nigeria forward Brown Ideye a doubt after limping off with an ankle injury midweek against Hull. Clubmate and compatriot Victor Anichebe is also unlikely to feature following a hernia operation.
This should leave the path clear for England hopeful Saido Berahino to be the main man up front. The Under-21 international is Albion’s top scorer, having netted three in all competitions, and bagged a brace against the Tigers last time out.
Berahino is available at 9/1 to score two or more once again, and opposition outfit Burnley must surely be wishing they had a potent poacher up top to compete with the young starlet.
Sean Dyche’s side have yet to record a win in league or cup this campaign, and are propping up the Premier League table along with Newcastle United. Whilst the Magpies have a host of attacking options at their disposal, however, the Clarets are still without strikers Danny Ings and Sam Vokes.
This has left the northwest battlers somewhat impotent up top, as they have not managed to muster a goal since their opening Premier League fixture against Chelsea. Midfielder Scott Arfield hit home in that encounter, netting the Clarets’ only goal in all competitions so far, and is 12/1 to find his scoring boots anytime again.
It has not been all doom and gloom for Burnley, however, as they can boast the second most resilient rearguard in the league. Dyche’s defence have conceded just four league goals this term, and are 8/1 to clinch their fourth consecutive stalemate of the season against the Baggies.
If Burnley (3/1 to win) are to collect three points in this clash, though, they must do more to spark their attack. As it stands, a tally of one goal in six games will not be giving the hosts sleepless nights. West Brom are good value at 7/5 to keep a clean sheet, or a special 5/2 to win to nil. Please note there is a maximum stake of £20 on this bet.
Perhaps the Clarets’ potential game winner will not be one-goal hero Arfield, or forward Lukas Jutkiewicz (7/1 to score first), though.
On loan Manchester United defender Michael Keane was often a surprise goal threat for the Red Devils reserves, and hit home three times in 13 Championship appearances for Blackburn Rovers last term. The 21-year-old could earn a starting spot at right back over injury doubt Kieran Trippier, and is 9/1 to net anytime.